Prickly Shark, Echinorhinus cookei Pietschmann 1928

Other Names: Cooks Bramble Shark, Prickley Shark, Spinous Shark

APrickly Shark, Echinorhinus cookei, filmed by an ROV in the central Pacific. Source: NOAA Okeanos Explorer. License: Public Domain

A large greyish-brown shark with two small dorsal fins positioned far back on the body, usually white on the underside of the snout and around the mouth, and often black fin margins - and no anal fin. The body is covered in many thorn-like denticles.
A Prickly Shark on the Cross Seamount off Hawaii
Prickly Sharks in the Monterey Canyon
Video footage of a Prickly Shark in 300 metres off Costa Rica in the Eastern Pacific.
Great footage of Prickly Sharks

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Echinorhinus cookei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2022,

Prickly Shark, Echinorhinus cookei Pietschmann 1928


Crane, N.L. & Heine, J.N. 1992. Observations of the prickly shark (Echinorhinus cookei) in Monterey Bay, California. California Fish and Game 78(4): 166–168.

Dawson, C.L.; Starr, R.M. (2009). Movements of subadult prickly sharks Echinorhinus cookei in the Monterey Canyon. Marine Ecology Progress Series 386: 253–262. Open access doi:10.3354/meps08067

Garrick, J.A.F. 1960. Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part X. The genus Echinorhinus, with an account of a second species, E. cookei Pietschmann, 1928, from New Zealand waters. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88(1): 105–117.

Garrick, J.A.F. & Moreland, J.M. 1968. Notes on a bramble shark, Echinorhinus cookei, from Cook Strait, New Zealand. Records of the Dominion Museum 6(10): 133–139.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia.

Nakamura I, Meyer CG, Sato K (2015) Unexpected Positive Buoyancy in Deep Sea Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a Echinorhinus cookei. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0127667. Open access doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127667

Paul, L. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Echinorhinus cookei. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 16 September 2013.

Stewart, A.L. 2001. Bramble sharks: prickly customers. Seafood New Zealand 9(3): 70–73.

Taniuchi, T. & Yanagisawa, F. 1983. Occurrence of the prickly shark, Echinorhinus cookei, at Kumanonada, Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 29(4): 465-468.

Varoujean, D.H. 1972. Systematics of the genus Echinorhinus Blainville, based on a study of the prickly shark Echinorhinus cookei. M.A. Thesis, Department of Zoology, Fresno State College

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37022002

Behaviour:Migrates vertically at night

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Depth:10-1100+ m

Habitat:Pelagic, benthopelagic

Max Size:400 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map